INDIAN WELLS, Calif.—Teenager Daria Kasatkina has been on a roll, getting to the third round of two straight majors and breaking into the Top 50. This season, the 18-year-old Russian has scored wins against Venus Williams and Timea Bacsinszky, and a doubles victory over Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza with Elena Vesnina. She reached the quarterfinals of Indian Wells before losing to Karolina Pliskova on Thursday. In this Q&A, she talks about her big tennis dreams, her small-town personality and why she likes to watch Rafael Nadal.
You've been doing very well recently. Were you expecting to have so much success at a young age?
I never expect something, because if you expect something, always it's bad. So I just go on court. We had very good preparation … If I am in the quarters, I deserve it.
You said you want to get into the Top 20 this season. Do you feel you're on track to do that?
Yeah. Now especially, why not? But I am not focused on the ranking. I am focused on my game, and I want to improve my game every day, every match, every practice.
I changed [my] coach [in] October , and now my results [are] better. We make [a] very good job for one year. I improve my game, my ranking. I think a lot of good things [are] in front of me.
What are your career goals?
My dreams are very big. I want to win [the] Golden Slam. Why not? But … it's too far. But it's my dream.
It's never enough. So I will go, and go for my dream.